Recently I complained about the entertaining, yet somewhat disappointing, stint of Olympic Hockey. While I did stress that overall I enjoyed watching the Olympic ice battles, and that I simply would have prefered an NHL All-Star break and game, I found emotional investment in the bouts to be rather unfruitful. That being said, there may be nothing in professional sports that is more unfruitful than the month and a half of meaningless MLB spring training.
Over the past weekend a friend of mine began to vent about his frustrations with Cubs spring training baseball. This spurred an interesting conversation, but it got me thinking about how much I have distanced myself from emotional devotion in spring training.
Reason No.1: It means NOTHING
These are exhibition warm-up games, nothing else. Success or failure in spring training does not translate to any success or failure during the regular season. The only factor that can be debated here is injuries, which, depending on the length and severity, can potentially have a drastic impact on the season.
However, there are a plethora of reports on injuries and various other ailments or issues throughout spring training, many of them proving to be insignificant. So, why worry about those? This is my next point:
Freaking out about the day-to-day injuries/setbacks
Heres the latest out of Cubs camp:
- Xavier Nady still not ready after 2 Tommy John surgeries
- Andres Blanco likely missing two-weeks with a sprained right knee
- Angel Guzman done... again
While these may have little or no impact on the actual regular season, that is precisely my point. If you weren't wathcing or "in-to" spring training baseball, you wouldn't have to worry about an issue that is surely going to drive you mad come May, when it immediately matters, anyways.
It's so long
Really? You want to care about the daily ups and downs, positives and negatives, of spring training just like you would during the regular season? Once April 5 is here, I am on board. Until then I root for everyone to stay relatively healthy and nothing else. How can you, why would you? And I cannot except using any of our announcers as an excuse either, because this is spring training for them too. Len and Bob in March are no match for Len and Bob in June.
Caring that the Sox wallopped the Cubs in meaningless exhibition
Sure its frustrating to see the Cubs bend over for the Sox, but what does it mean? Absolutely nothing. End of discussion.
Waiting for the regular season
In essence, this is why anyone really watches or pays attention to spring training baseball; they are excited about the regular season. I suppose I used to do the same thing, but luckily now we can watch the Blackhawks play meaningful and exciting games instead of the slow-paced warm-up games that offer very little insight into what the regular baseball season will hold.
I ask anyone finding themselves too drawn into spring training baseball to leave your worries at the door, step inside, and be warmed by the Blackhawk fire. Sure, pay attention to major injuries out of your club's camp, but don't let yourself start taking it too seriously. It's just not worth the stress. No one should be invested in spring training baseball except for the teams themselves.